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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Weak Front | James Kramer | Precautionary Principle | Mendocino Farms | Produce Exchange | Pelicans | Giants Win | Museum Tour | Pumpkin Patch | Mental Zoom | Lake Plain | Field Station | Deep End | Counting Topos | Southern Fried | Dwindling Desperation | Columbus Sale | Ed Notes | Police Reports | Yesterday's Catch | Decadence | Neighbors | Priorities | Dodge City | Unfair Oaks | Brief Value | Wokepocrisy | Hedge Dump | AE | 13,000 Nukes | Two Stops | Long Game | Anon Whistleblower | Lonnie Smith | Hippie Hovels

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A WEAK FRONT will pass across Del Norte and Humboldt counties this evening and will be accompanied by light rain or drizzle to mainly the coast and coastal interior areas. A ridge of high pressure then builds across the west for another extended period of dry weather along with chilly mornings and warm afternoons. (NWS)

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JAMES PATRICK KRAMER

James Patrick Kramer passed away on September 4th, at his home in Ventura, after suffering a major stroke in August.

His last weeks were spent with loving family at his side, as he faced this last of many health challenges with all the bravery and strength he demonstrated throughout his 80 years. Born in New Jersey, Jim came west at 19, eventually attaining a Masters in Social Work as well as post graduate studies at Berkeley. After early work with the Office of Economic Opportunity in San Jose, he came to Mendocino County in 1971, and with a group of friends purchased an old apple ranch that became known as Pomotierra (Yorkville). Jim's social work career began in group homes for juveniles, transitioning to working with the HIV/AIDS community through various organizations, including Mendocino County AIDS Volunteer Network. He then developed and supervised the Behavioral Health program at Mendocino Community Health Clinic for many years.

Following retirement from MCHC, he continued his career with a private psychotherapy practice. While Jim had many professional achievements to his credit, perhaps more importantly, his hard won equanimity and innate sense of humor allowed him to accept others without judgment - a rare and special quality. He met the world as if it were an adventure unfolding, be it kayaking down crazy rivers, traveling the world, or cycling to the nearest coffee shop.

Family was dear to him, and a motivation for the move to Ventura in January of this year, after 50 years in Mendocino County. It brought him closer to his dearly loved stepdaughter Megan Arquette, partner Jeff Ranes and that sparkly grandchild Ronan.

His beloved son Nicholas Yardley predeceased him this year, a great sorrow. Jim is mourned, and much missed by his wife, Marilyn Townsend, sister Mary McNulty, brother Michael Kramer (Diane), cousin Jennifer Abbott (Bernice Blatt), a niece and many wonderful nephews and grandnephews, not to mention so many long time friends.

Jim's meditation practice was the foundation for his life to the end. So for those who would like to make a memorial donation, the family suggests Spirit Rock Meditation Center, 5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Woodacre, CA 94973.

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NOT AT ALL AN IMPOSITION

Editor,

Covid Requirements

We were in San Francisco last week, part of a birthday celebration. Masks were required on the SMART train and on the Golden Gate Ferry. Most people on the streets were wearing masks as well. The cable car grip man reminded me to put mine on when I sat down on the outside bench.

We had dinner reservations, and when we got there the hostess was outside the door at a table where she asked us for our Vaccination Cards and told us that we would be required to wear masks inside except when eating and drinking. This reminded me of being asked to show ID to get into a bar or a club. No problem.

When we set up our Lyft ride after dinner we were told that masks were required, and when we got to the Box Office at Davies Symphony Hall we were again asked to show our Vaccination Cards and we were told that masks were required throughout the performance as well.

We did not see any of this as an imposition. It was really nice to see that all these people were being so careful to keep all of us safe and it felt really good to know that all of us in that restaurant and at the symphony were vaccinated.

Tom McFadden

Boonville

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NADYA WILLIAMS WRITES from San Francisco:

Mendocino Farms Restaurant: New - right in the middle of the steel, glass & concrete jungle of The City’s office district.

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COMMUNITY PRODUCE EXCHANGE WRAPS UP FOR THE SEASON

by Rachel Turner Williams

The community produce exchange wrapped up for the season last Tuesday. This free biweekly event was organized by the Anderson Valley Wellness Coalition (also known as “AV Be Well”). The produce exchanges were very well attended. People met in the park every other week to share the bounty of locally grown produce with one another. The exchanges were a great way for people who had abundant crops to share their excess, and for people with a struggling or no garden at all to load up on locally grown food. All leftover produce was donated to the local food bank and other local families. 

The exchanges made for a convivial gathering on Tuesday evenings. The tables overflowed with boxes and baskets of everything from fruits, vegetables, and herbs to flowers and home-cured olives. Meanwhile, people visited, shared gardening tips, and sampled homemade finger foods, making for a social and festive atmosphere.

The Anderson Valley Wellness Coalition is a community group that was formed through the Anderson Valley Health Center with a focus on improving all areas of wellness in Anderson Valley. These produce exchanges were part of the group’s ”Eat Well” Initiative, which it has been focusing on for the last couple of months. The coalition likewise organized a fitness challenge in the spring, and is gearing up for a mindfulness initiative next. 

If you are interested in learning more about or becoming involved with the Anderson Valley Wellness Coalition, please contact Cyd Bernstein at the AV Health Center at (707) 895-3477, ext. 260. 

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Captain Fletcher’s Pelicans (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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BLOWIN' IN THE WIND: Giants edge Dodgers 1-0 on Longoria HR

Evan Longoria homered off Max Scherzer in the fifth inning and the Giants edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on a blustery Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.

It was the Giants’ second shutout in the best-of-five series after winning the opener 4-0.

Game 4 is Tuesday at Dodger Stadium with Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday, if necessary.

The Dodgers routed the Giants 9-2 to win Game 2, but mustered just five hits back at home. NL batting champion Trea Turner and Mookie Betts each went 0 for 4, and Corey Seager was 0 for 4 with a walk.

Longoria broke out of an 0-for-23 slump in a big way with his leadoff shot to left-center. He had just two hits in his last 40 at-bats. It was his first postseason homer since the 2013 ALDS with Tampa Bay. After that, Scherzer retired his final six batters.

The Giants' other two hits were singles by Buster Posey and Kris Bryant. Their final 15 batters were retired, including in the ninth when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side.

San Francisco starter Alex Wood allowed two hits over 4 2/3 innings against his former team. The left-hander struck out four and walked two. Tyler Rogers got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Camilo Doval pitched two perfect innings for the save.

Cool, gusty winds whipped the flags in center field and even caused Scherzer to stumble delivering an early pitch on a night with weather more akin to Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Napkins, peanut bags and plastic bags blew on the warning track and through the stands. A dusty haze obliterated the usual picturesque view of the San Gabriel Mountains and kept a pregame flyover from being seen except on the videoboard. A fan's white cap came flying out of the stands and landed on the field in the second inning.

The fierce wind blew steadily from left to right field throughout the game, ruffling the pants of the pitchers on the mound.

Scherzer tweaked his mechanics in his last bullpen session before Game 3. It worked. He pitched with a rhythm missing from his last three starts, when he struggled with his command, including in the NL wild-card game against St. Louis.

He retired 10 batters between Posey's single in the first and Bryant's two-out single in the fourth. Bryant made his first start of the season at first for the Giants.

Scherzer gave up one run and three hits in seven innings in taking the loss. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 — his fifth career double-digit postseason strikeout total — and walked one on 110 pitches.

The tension was palpable into the later innings.

Pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. and Will Smith had one-out singles in the seventh, the Dodgers' first back-to-back hits of the game, off submariner Rogers. Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes struck out swinging.

With the sellout crowd of 53,299 on its feet chanting, “Let's go, Dodgers!”, Betts hit a screaming liner into the glove of leaping shortstop Brandon Crawford to end the threat.

The Dodgers had three hits — all singles — through six innings.

Their first hit came off the bat of 41-year-old Albert Pujols, whose bloop single to right led off the third in his 75th career postseason game. Along with Pujols, the Dodgers started 37-year-old Scherzer and 36-year-old Justin Turner at third.

It was Pujols' first start and hit in the playoffs since the 2014 ALDS with the Los Angeles Angels. The three-time NL MVP hit .294 against left-handed pitching during the regular season.

Pujols singled again leading off the fifth before being replaced by pinch-runner Billy McKinney. It was his first multi-hit postseason game since his three-homer performance in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series for St. Louis.

(pressdemocrat.com)

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EXHIBITION TOUR OF GRACE HUDSON'S NEW EXHIBIT: OCT. 16 

On Oct. 16, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., artists Tom Liden and Mac Magruder will give an in-person tour of the exhibition “Thirty Years On: Ligen, Magruder & Knight.” 

The artists will comment and provide perspective on their own artwork and also the art of the late Wayne Knight.

The event is free with Museum admission: $5 general; $4 students and seniors; $12 families; and free for Museum members, Native Americans, and standing military personnel. 

Due to COVID concerns, capacity will be limited to 15 people. Masks are required. Reserve your spot by calling the Museum at (707) 467-2836.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. More information is at www.gracehudsonmuseum.org.

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JOINT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT FORUM AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will hold a joint Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, October 13th, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss Behavioral Health services and Mental Health Services Act programs in Mendocino County. Members of the public, consumers, family members, service providers, and community agencies are encouraged to attend the meeting to ask questions, share ideas, provide feedback, and give recommendations for improvement of the Behavioral Health system of care in the community.

For more information about QIC or to have the Zoom Link emailed to you, please contact Caitlin Colby at ColbyC@mendocinocounty.org or (707) 472-2369.For more information about MHSA or to have the Zoom Link emailed to you, please contact Rena Ford at FordRe@mendocinocounty.org or (707) 472-2724.

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Lake Mendocino, Fall 2021

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COASTAL FIELD STATION ANNIVERSARY

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Mendocino College stewardship over the Coastal Field Station property. This facility is a unique educational resource known through the years as the “LORAN station” with respect to the role of the previous administrators, the US Coast Guard, and their Long Range Navigation signaling station duties, as well as the “Point Arena Field Station” in regards to its location on the coast halfway between the town of Point Arena and the Point Arena Lighthouse. Students of Mendocino College continue to gain hands-on experience addressing important, 21st century scientific topics through visits to the site and participation in a variety of pertinent outdoor learning activities.

Visitors to the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station are immediately struck by this amazing college resource with its original Coast Guard structures, that has provided unique opportunities for students of the natural sciences to study marine life, the California coastal prairie ecosystem and the many incredible geological features in the area. For 40 years the Field Station has directly supported the mission of Mendocino College by fostering high-impact experiential learning across all disciplines, welcoming researchers from a broad spectrum of human inquiry, and encouraging community engagement in the enterprise of education.

Although still faced with ongoing COVID-19 mitigation, student engagement continues with online educational activities related to native species of the coastal prairie and geologic landforms of the coast and the tectonic plate boundary delineated by the San Andreas Fault. Important electrical upgrade to the education building and pump house was recently completed, and the facility hosted a field trip of the Association for Women Geoscientists this year. This past spring, three student scholarships were distributed. Ana Delgado Mendoza was awarded the annual Mary Lou Koeninger Memorial Scholarship in Earth Science, and Missael Barosa was awarded the annual Brandon Pill Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society. Erin Orth was awarded the Greg Grantham Memorial Scholarship, also sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society and made possible through special donations from our community.

Six years ago the Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, an affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, was formed to provide financial support and volunteer work to address deferred maintenance and upgrades for the facility. Some of the most desperately needed improvements have been accomplished. More work is being planned and volunteers to help are needed, including those with expertise to help coordinate things like plumbing work. There is a continuing list of important projects, both for upgrading the physical facilities and for future educational activities.

The Friends’ Capital Campaign continues in support of these efforts.

Please consider helping in the movement to complete the upgrades at the Coastal Field Station. For more information, contact Steve Cardimona, Earth Science professor and chair of the Friends of the Field Station affiliate (scardimo@mendocino. edu).

(ukiahdailyjournal.com)

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Deep Navarro

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GEEZERHOOD

Editor,

Well, my strange beautiful life is bringing me into some wonderful relationships with some 30-somethings, the age diff is educational and amusing. Example: one of my new friends calls me “dude” so often, I wish I got a dollar for each time! Another one’s become a forest activist, their backwoods patrols these days involve GPS. I told her about how we used to stop and count topo lines on paper maps to figure where we were, she literally gasped in horror then exclaimed, “YOU counted topo lines!” GEEZ I had no idea Geezerhood would be upon me so soon! 

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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FALLING POT PRICES, an on-line comment: 

We are only seeing the very beginning of what will be very desperate times. First we invited all kinds of shady people here through our allowances of bad behavior, our easy grow money (or at least tales of it) and our court system’s lax penalties. Now the money rug is being yanked out by the mega-grows both corporate and greedy. Guess what happens next? It’s not rocket science. Get locked and loaded because we are about to see an onslaught of burglaries, robberies and various rip-offs. Even otherwise decent people will be driven to desperate measures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

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ED NOTES

THE MONDAY WINDS weren’t what anybody might call “fierce,” but, dry as it is when zephyrs puff up into a steady, cool March-like 30 or so mph, the thousands of Mendo people living away from the pavement go on full red alert. And even down on the Valley floor many of us abut highly flammable mini-wildernesses. I recall an afternoon fire that began in the pasture across Mountain View Road from the high school and in a couple of minutes had burned into the trees behind the Redwood Drive-in and the Boonville Hotel. Our volunteer fire department valiantly stopped the blaze before it got into structures.

WHAT with cyber-connections to the entire globe, we of the outback easily forget we’re rural, a fact emphasized here at ava headquarters last night when feral pigs rototilled my garden. Where they came from I have no idea. We border 128 on the east, the west is an inaccessible precipice of rip rap down to the dead stream, formerly Robinson Creek. The north and south are effectively fenced.

MY GARDEN, in theory, is supposed to produce seasonal color. Something is always supposed to be blooming year round, but it’s become an impenetrable tangle that often surprises me when something bursts into flower that I’d forgotten I’d planted. My wife refers to it as “Your so-called garden,” but she’s much more systematic and practical in her gardening, heavy on vegetables.

LAST NIGHT’S raid on my place was by feral pigs, descendants of a time in the county when pigs were ranched in the Anderson Valley. From here they were herded over the hill to Ukiah and put on southbound trains for Bay Area slaughterhouses. Of course pigs went astray and have proliferated and prospered in the hills ever since.

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BILL KIMBERLIN:

This is the architect’s digital image of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art currently being constructed in Los Angeles. It is scheduled to open later this year. It is a $1billion creation. 

A writer for Vanity Fair visited Lucas (my old boss) in San Anselmo where Lucas lives. This is what he wrote about the Lucas art collection that he saw...

“In the end, the collection will need to speak for itself, which is why, after we had talked in Los Angeles and visited the site where the museum is about to be built, Bacigalupi suggested that I visit Lucas’s place in San Anselmo, where he arranged for a similar show-and-tell to the one he had put on for Charles Desmarais. He flew up from Los Angeles to meet me, and we walked across a broad lawn in front of the large manor house that Lucas and Hobson occupy to a guesthouse designed in Arts and Crafts style and filled with Stickley furniture. Inside, several dozen works of art were placed on tables, chairs, kitchen counters, and easel stands, filling almost every inch of the cottage. It had a crazy-quilt informality to it—there, stuck wherever they would fit, were works by Rockwell and Thomas Hart Benton (the museum had just acquired three panels from a 1924–27 mural); Jacob Lawrence’s Harlem Street Scene, from 1942; Romare Bearden’s “Black Odysseus” series; and pieces by Maxfield Parrish and Kerry James Marshall. There were also some poignant and profound photographs by Gordon Parks, original drawings by R. Crumb, and several pieces by artists I didn’t know at all, such as Nemanja Nikolic, a young Serb whose work comments on classic film-noir scenes; a political cartoon from 1936 by J. C. Leyendecker, lambasting Republicans and Democrats; and an extraordinary set of science-fiction illustrations for War of the Worlds by Henrique Alvim Correa, a brilliant Brazilian illustrator who worked around the turn of the last century.

It was a stunning array, and only the tip of a very unusual iceberg. If there was a through line to the pieces, a common theme, it was not just that they represented narrative art but that they all seemed to exist at a point of intersection between emotional intensity and great technical skill—the very qualities that mark great cinema. And like the best films, what I saw in San Anselmo was, by and large, too sophisticated and deftly composed to be dismissed as sentimental; they were the kinds of pieces that showed a serious collector’s eye.

“Why I have 15,000 works of art is because I can’t let go of them,” Lucas said to me in Chicago. “That’s how I got into the museum business: a magical window into something you’ve never seen before. The basic issue always is: How do you tell a story?”

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MAILBOX TWEEKERS

On Saturday, September 25, 2021 at about 1:14 A.M, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of West Road and Spring Valley Road in Potter Valley.

A local resident noticed a vehicle parked near mailboxes in the area and believed the occupants may have been stealing mail. As the resident approached the vehicle, it sped away and was last seen in the area of Spring Valley Road.

The first responding Deputy encountered the vehicle, a 2004 Ford Focus, on Spring Valley Road. The Deputy noticed the vehicle came to an abrupt stop prior to the Deputy making contact with it.

As the Deputy approached the vehicle on foot, he noticed the driver seat was vacant. As the Deputy contacted the passenger, Sharon Smith, 43, of Potter Valley, he heard what sounded like a person running away through the nearby brush.

Sharon Smith

Evidence later found within the vehicle identified the driver as Charles Maxfield, 46, of Willits. Maxfield was known to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for convictions related to mail theft. Maxfield was also known to have an outstanding arrest warrant for violating the terms of his PRCS.

Charles Maxfield

Additional Deputies arrived and searched the area for Maxfield but were unsuccessful.

A search of the vehicle revealed a massive amount of mail and numerous Identification Documents, none of which were addressed or issued to Maxfield or Smith. Also located in the vehicle were numerous blank checks, a laptop computer and a portable color printer.

A photocopy of a California Identification Card depicting Maxfield was located with the printer. The ID Card contained the full identification of a person other than Maxfield.

Stolen Mail Recovered During Investigation in Potter Valley.

Based on this initial investigation, Deputies determined Maxfield and Smith were in fact actively stealing mail, and using the identifying information gathered from the mail, to commit fraudulent and felonious acts. Smith was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

A search warrant for Smith's Residence, located in Potter Valley, was secured and served. No additional evidence was located.

Based on the nature of the crimes, a Request to Increase Bail and to Restrict the Source of Bail was granted by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. Smith's bail was set at No Bail and should bail be set, she will be required to prove that the funds used to post bail were not feloniously obtained before bail will be granted.

Maxfield remains outstanding at this time.

Further investigation of the evidence revealed no less than 100 separated victims' identifying information had been acquired by Smith and Maxfield.

This information likely had been used, or was being possessed with the intent to use, in the commission of multiple felonious offenses.

Deputies, with the assistance of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office Investigations Division, are continuing to follow up with victims related to this case.

Mail was found addressed to persons in the following communities: Ukiah, Calpella, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Reeves Canyon and Willits.


CEMETERY GHOUL

On Monday, October 4, 2021 at about 8:30 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was patrolling the Little Lake Cemetery in Willits.

The public has reported people camping at and possibly vandalizing the cemetery. The Deputy observed a vehicle at the location and conducted a vehicle check.

The Deputy contacted a male adult inside the vehicle, who was identified as Steven Lawson, 30, of Ukiah. Lawson was determined to currently be on parole.

Steven Lawson

During the contact Deputies learned there was an active pick up arrest warrant issued by parole for his arrest. A search of Lawson and his vehicle was conducted.

Inside the vehicle, the Deputy located a used glass pipe commonly used to ingest methamphetamine, a fixed blade knife and a small canister of OC spray (pepper spray). All these items violated the terms of Lawson's parole.

Lawson was arrested for violation of the terms of his parole and for possession of tear gas (pepper spray) by a prohibited person.

Lawson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status due to the parole hold.


BAD COMPANY

On Saturday, October 9, 2021 at about 7:40 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at a residence located at the 35000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits.

Deputies went to the residence in attempt to serve a felony arrest warrant on Steven Ramier, 35, of Willits, for evading a peace officer.

Steven Ramier

Upon arrival Deputies located Jewel Dyer, 30, of Willits, standing on the property near the driveway entrance. Dyer was in possession of plastic bag of illicit drugs.

Jewel Dyer

Deputies evaluated Dyer and determined he was under the influence of a controlled substance. Dyer was on CDC Parole and Dyer's Parole Officer issued a Parole hold as a result.

While at the scene, Deputies observed another male subject who they identified as Steven Ramier exit a travel trailer at the location.

A Deputy went to contact Ramier however he fled back towards the trailer. The Deputy chased Ramier a short distance and caught him near the trailer.

Ramier resisted arrest and wrestled with the arresting Deputy in attempt to avoid being arrested. The Deputy was able to overcome Ramier's physical resistance and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Both Ramier and Dyer were arrested for the listed violations and booked into the Mendocino County Jail. Ramier was arrested for Felony Arrest Warrant, Evading a Peace Officer, and Felony-Resisting Peace Officer. Dyer was arrested on the parole violation, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance.

Ramier was to held in lieu of $135,000 bail and Dyer was to be held without bail due to his Parole hold.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 11, 2021

Buster, Gonzalez, Montalvo, Mott

WILLIAM BUSTER, Orinda/Ukiah. DUI.

JESUS GONZALEZ, Ukiah. DUI.

ELEVTERIO MONTALVO-PEREZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

ROBERT MOTT, Trinidad/Ukiah. DUI.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

It has been many moons since any American has had to fight off hostile primitives or blue-belly invaders, or even have to have any concern about where their next meal will come from. The complacency that the easy life bred into our citizens has so many of them so lackadaisical these days that they are angered by the idea that they even have to think for themselves. Much easier to let someone else do your thinking, mow your lawn, or even raise your children so you can concentrate on the most important business of chasing the buck or entertaining yourself into oblivion. 

Many of us believe that we are very close to finding out whether this decay was all part of a conspiracy or simply just the way the empire crumbles. If it IS conspiracy we will soon be meeting the new owners I would think. If it is not, well then it will simply collapse into chaos. A real shame that there does not appear to be a more acceptable end to it all. Perhaps I am missing something.

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PRIORITIES

Editor,

Please note that water storage tanks are sold out for many miles. We need air, water, food and shelter. Rights and freedoms are interwoven with these needs. So we need to decide whether we need to allow food farms and dairies the water to supply us with cheese, milk, some meat and watershed land, or allow more vineyards, cannabis complexes, casinos and tourism attendants to use our dwindling finite water supply. Global food sources are dwindling, remember. So, what do you think is important? Vintage wines, a good spliff, fine dining after roulette, or cheese and veggies and maybe some rainfall absorbed into the ground through open space?

Weedy Tuhtan-Joseph

Sebastopol

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FAIR OAKS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITY MISTREATMENT

by Michael Newman

Here are some examples of what I and five other elderly (70 years of age and above) patients experienced at Fair Oaks Residential Treatment Facility, 7959 Orange Avenue, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.

All of us patients were there because of psychiatric conditions, ranging from general anxiety disorder and major depression to paranoia and other conditions.

I arrived on 9/18/2021.

9/18: I needed razors to shave and a sweatshirt or hoodie to fend off the cooler temperatures. I asked one staff member to see if the facility had any sweatshirts or hoodies that may have been donated. A day later, after no response, I asked another. Later in the day, she said there were no donated clothes, so I contacted my brother to mail me, by USPS, a hoodie and two disposable shavers. He did and sent me the tracking number. The day of delivery, I asked the lead staff member to check their mailbox to see if my parcel arrived and she said I cannot receive mail at their facility. I said that we had the right to send and receive mail per item 14 of “Resident Bill of Rights, California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Skilled Nursing Facilities”. This facility posted a copy of this in their front entryway. Item 14 states: ”To associate and communicate privately with persons of the patient’s choice, and to send and receive personal mail unopened.” I pointed to this on their copy on the wall and read it to her aloud and she said I could not send or receive mail at the facility because we patients were not allowed to use their address, 7959 Orange Ave. I said the package was out for delivery and she said I could receive it, but only this one time. The Patients Bill of Rights had contact phone numbers for four Ombudsmen so I left voice mails with two of the four numbers repeating what had occurred and asking each to tell me if I was misunderstanding item 14. No one answered when I called the remaining two numbers and there was no voice mail capability. Only one spokesperson of the two I left voice mails with responded and said that the number that was listed was only for elderly abuse. So much for seeking help from OUR Ombudsmen.

Item 10 states “To be free from mental and physical abuse.” Well, two of the staff were very aloof, arrogant, and slow to respond to our requests. One staff member would respond to our requests with a dismissive “Yeh, sure” and then ignore the patient who placed the request for times lasting minutes to literally hours.

Item 12 states “To be treated with consideration, respect and full recognition of dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and in care of personal needs”.

One staff member working the night shift from 7pm to 7am, ate all of the bananas that were designated for our use. And no, he did not replace them.

During dinner, another elderly male patient, Bill, asked for a glass of milk during dinner. The staff member said “No” because he had diabetes. But yet, during our breakfast, we were all given some scrambled eggs and a very sugary cinnamon bun. Hmmm—why was Bill given free reign to eat that sugar-bomb but yet be denied a glass of milk? Anyway, when Bill heard her refuse his request for the milk, he got fairly upset and a bit angry and said loudly “ Excuse me?!” The staff member relented, and gave him the milk, but only half a glass—yep—a half a glass of milk. I felt like throwing my plate of crappy dinner at the staff member. Speaking of the food we were served, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, never was any meal nutritious—very little protein, scant fruits and vegetables, too, too much pasta smothered in cream sauce and Crystal Lite powdered drink for a beverage.

On 9/24 an elderly female arrived in a wheel chair. Among other things, she had a stroke which impaired her right arm. After dinner, she and I spoke outdoors in the patio and she said the staff seem mean and very unhelpful and seem bothered when she asked for help. I agreed and said all of us have been subjected to the same (mis)treatment. During meals, the staff not only did not help her to eat or offer to cut any food item into bite-size pieces, but did not have the courtesy to put a bib on her; at every meal, food would drop from her fork or spoon and land on her chest, soiling her clothing.

One 87 year old male patient arrived on 9/29 and at lunch, asked a staff member to help him put on his socks because his left hand was amputated—again, the response was “Yeah, sure—”. After dinner, he and I were talking privately and he said that the staff seem quite unfriendly and unwilling or slow to help us. I agreed and looked at his feet, which still had no socks and he said “Yes, the staff member never came to help me with my socks.”

On 9/29 at 3:50 pm, the lead staff member said I was being discharged on 9/31 at 9:30 am. Having been blind-sided by this news, I immediately had a panic attack and said I did not feel confident nor competent enough to leave, but she was adamant and unsympathetic to my pleas and said I had to leave because a new patient was scheduled to arrive at 10:30 am directly after my departure.

During my short stay, time and time again the staff showed very little courtesy, consideration, and empathy toward us. There was no place (other than our rooms) we could “retreat” to in order to relax and try to obtain some peace and quiet. I urge anyone who may be considering this facility as a place for successful treatment for themselves or their loved ones to avoid it at all costs.

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GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM had already established himself as the world’s most woke political leader, a man so dripping in virtue-signalling PC-crazed drivel that he makes even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau look like a right-wing nutjob. But this weekend he excelled himself with a barrage of new bills that cement his reputation as a self-righteous, sanctimonious, hypocritical humbug of gargantuan proportions. Empowered by his recent recall election win, Newsom fired off a raft of laws that included making it illegal to use gas-powered “off-road engine engines” including leaf-blowers, lawn mowers and golf carts, ordered schools to teach all students “ethnic studies,” and large toy stores to have gender-neutral sections. This whole gender-neutral nonsense is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Girls are perfectly free to go and buy boys’ toys if they want, and vice versa. The ongoing woke campaign to neutralize all gender language is designed to appease the potential offense of a tiny majority of people, most of whom I suspect don’t even care. We’re seeing it everywhere now. Gavin Newsom’s only doing this to promote his woke credentials and, like those other famous California-based woke warriors Meghan and Harry, he loves to preach one thing but do another. Having mandated all children over 12 to get a covid vaccine shot, he then had to admit that his own 12-year-old daughter remains unvaccinated. That the Governor of California is a shameless hypocrite is not entirely new territory. But Newsom’s woke mantra is slowly wrecking a state that I love. 

— Piers Morgan

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HEDGE FUNDS CASH OUT BILLIONS IN PG&E STOCK. FIRE SURVIVORS SUFFER AND WAIT

“The company is mired in debt. Electricity rates are skyrocketing. Tens of thousands of survivors of fires sparked by the utility’s equipment are waiting for promised compensation. Amid all this pain, there’s one group that’s simply walking away: Wall Street hedge funds.”

kqed.org/news/11891626/hedge-funds-cash-out-billions-in-pge-stock-fire-survivors-suffer-and-wait

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OUT OF THE SILO

by Sadakat Kadri

The nuclear weapons launch site in San Cristobal that sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis was modelled on one at Plokštinė in Lithuania, which opened on New Year’s Eve 1961. The disused installation is no longer top secret – it’s now a museum – but it is still out of the way. Overlooked by dense pine forests, the silos yawn with ominous promise, like thermonuclear wishing wells. Each of the SS-4 rockets that might once have roared out of them had more than half the firepower used throughout the Second World War, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A single warhead could have flattened London within ten minutes of take-off.

The Soviet mission to Cuba began surreptitiously. Soldiers were ordered to take fur coats and snow-boots, and hints of their true destination didn’t come until Sevastopol – where, boarding disguised freight ships, the men were issued with tropical suits, checked shirts and sun hats. But the overall strategy was less prudent. In response to Washington’s deployment of fifteen nuclear missiles to Turkey, Khrushchev had suggested it was time to ‘stick a hedgehog down Uncle Sam’s pants’.

The Cold War came to an end, but hopes of panicking an adversary for political advantage are far from obsolete. The Kremlin recently staged military manoeuvres with Belarus – Europe’s largest for forty years, if Russian Defence Ministry figures are to be believed – which were clearly intended to alarm both Lithuania and Poland. Some 200,000 troops, assisted by robot tanks and swarms of drones, spent a week in mid-September repelling an imaginary invasion by three adjacent states. The supposedly fictitious neighbours were designated ‘westerners’ for the purpose of the exercise. Neither the European Union nor United States sent official observers, and their studied indifference annoyed the ruler of Belarus: Alexander Lukashenko condemned the West’s failure to witness such spectacular war games as ‘small-minded’ and ‘insane’.

It isn’t just in Moscow and Minsk that brinkmanship lives on. Boris Johnson’s recent decision to counterbalance Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region has secured nothing but greater Chinese animosity. Whatever else that might one day produce, it’s a high-stakes gamble. As for the United States, though its failed adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly proved the limits of shock and awe in war, its spending alone is fearsome: the US defence budget in 2020 was double that of Russia, China and the United Kingdom combined.

As I left Plokštinė, silver cloudlets were scudding across a cobalt sky, and windsurfers drifted across a nearby lake. The base used to be a candidate for a pre-emptive Nato nuclear strike (by 1974 there were 25,000 such targets), and if the red buttons had ever been pressed, the lake would have vaporised. The sandy forest floor for miles around would have melted into glass.

A worst-case scenario could still happen today. The chances may be greater than ever. Global nuclear arsenals have shrunk since their 1986 peak, but the number of nuclear states is up to nine, and they collectively possess more than 13,000 atomic weapons. Almost sixty years on from the Cuban Missile Crisis, it wouldn’t take much to set the first explosion off: just a little hedgehog, out of control.

(London Review of Books)

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PART OF THE PROBLEM is that America, used to understand, the only way to remain at the front is to do research and development, and have that information exist in a social commons. Whatever you thought of Ma Bell or GE, Bell Labs and GE Research Division, cost centers though they were, built the technology that future products and human advances would stand upon. 

Today in the name bleeding every penny from the world and the people in it... Corporations no longer “Waste” capital on pure research. Corporations no longer support information commons. Instead they fight like angry pitbulls to patent every atom of IP, then use it to bludgeon one another bloody, and kill off any tech startup, snatching the still warm corpse, then sucking out their IP, to patent for pennies on the dollar. 

It’s very hard for us to compete with a business machine that is functionally monolithic and has its government’s complete support. The Chinese outspend us on infrastructure and research and development 20 to 1. They are laying down the asphalt for that highway moving into the future... While, we have the Three Stooges clubbing one another insensible while our government gets paid to look the other way. Until we can make the long game more important than the quarterly report, we can expect China to enjoy our tasty tasty lunch. 

— Marie Tobias 

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THE DOCTOR DEPARTS

by David Yearsley

The last great oracle of the Hammond B3 organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith rained blues down from above. Many of his lines cascaded from high up on the keyboards of his instrument, writhing in ecstasy as they descended.

Dr. Lonnie Smith

There were upwellings, too, that bubbled back against the funky torrent, and sometimes still larger waves of ascent, but the musical balance tipped from high to low. Smith would skip or slide his way to higher altitudes, cling to these elevations with circular patterns—sustained chords animated with bluesy swells—but then let gravity prevail, tumbling down with purpose and exultation.

Even a back-and-forth tune like “Seesaw” from Smith’s album Turning Point—one of the four he brought out between 1968 and 1970 on Blue Note during his first tenure at the label—sluices inexorably from soprano towards bass.

Did Smith’s music recall the sound of The Flood? Was it the Word, even though textless, issuing with powerful meaning from the Hammond pulpit? Are there echoes of the Black preachers who voiced the blues in the American South? Whatever one hears, Smith’s cyclic grooves and apocalyptic cries delivered joy not damnation.

As he let loose these literally electric downpours, Smith remained poised at his console, singing prayerfully along with his ringed fingers racing across the keys, his big fists slapping out blasts of sound. For all the welter and wash of his improvisations there was majesty in his creations. The chunk, bite, and wah of his Leslie-fueled oratory had the force of revelation.

A local music shop owner in his hometown of Lackawanna, New York south of Buffalo offered Smith a B3 for free (in good condition, they now go for upwards of $10,000) if he could get the bulky instrument out of the store. The boy succeeded not only in transporting the Hammond home, but taught himself to play it, convinced now that he would dedicate himself to a life in music.

After the move downstate to New York City in the 1960s, he joined up with guitarist George Benson, who had recently left the trio of Jack McDuff, another Apostle of the B3 and an inspiration for Smith. Benson joined the twenty-five-year-old Smith on the organist’s first recording as a leader made in 1967 for Columbia: Finger Lickin’ Good. No trademark infringement proceedings were launched by Kentucky Fried Chicken, though in this vinyl bucket of an LP there were eleven greasy tracks, most of the pieces two or three minutes long. These durations bespoke a distinctly commercial orientation, and probably help explain why Smith left for Blue Note after just one outing with Columbia.

Classified in Bold Face letters as “Soul Organ” on the cover, the Finger Lickin’ album seemed intent on bit-sizing the blues. But what bites! Near the bottom of the tub was “Lonnie’s Blues,” a close cousin of that most famous Hammond jazzman Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack” recorded on Blue Note a decade earlier. At a truncated two-and-half-minutes, there is no time for stretching out on Lonnie’s eponymous tune, though the cascading exhortations punctuated by calls from the horn section are worth many thousands of words. Smith would later award himself the doctorate that came to adorn his name. His longer solos were Ph.D. dissertations in sound.

Over the next decade Smith made many fine recordings, but by the end of the 1970s he withdrew from the studio, beaten down by the music business.

He returned to action in the 1990s and then to Blue Note in 2016 with his first record for the label in more than four decades. The return proved that the ethical power of his music was infinitely renewable, even if his chosen medium for expressing it—the electric organ—was hooked up to the dirty grid. One could be lured into mystical realms by Smith’s later look. After the hip hats seen on his earlier albums, he took to wearing a turban and grew a long beard that grayed with the years. Smith was apparently above accusations of cultural appropriation, and he disclaimed religious intent or meaning in his costume. Yet the abundance of blues and boogaloos he created emanated a kind of sacred dedication that ultimately protected him from the ritual sacrifices of the marketplace: “You are already rich once you sit down and learn to play,” he philosophized in later years. “That’s richness in itself.”

His last record, Breathe, was made fittingly for Blue Note in 2017, and commemorated his 75th-birthday run at the Jazz Standard in New York City. The album also includes two studio tracks with cameos by Iggy Pop. In the pair’s version of Donovan’s “Sunshine Superhuman” of 1966, Iggy’s breathy, striated voice is so ethereal it’s almost not there. Smith coaxes him along gently, but after the Godfather of Punk has exhaled his lines, the master organist takes command at his control panel of black and white keys and tone bars and fires off one rocket burst after another as Pop shouts encouragement from the background. Smith’s flares streak out into space, where there is no up or down, just pure energy.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at dgyearsley@gmail.com.)

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TABLE MOUNTAIN

The Last Glimpses of California’s Vanishing Hippie Utopias

Half a century ago, a legion of idealists dropped out of society and went back to the land, creating a patchwork of utopian communes across Northern California. Here, the last of those rogue souls offer a glimpse of their otherworldly residences—and the tail end of a grand social experiment.

by David Jacob Kramer (courtesy gq.com)

There was an aphorism in the movement: “Bad roads make good communes.” And the road we're on today is bad. Several miles inland from California's foggy coastline, we're driving down a single lane hemmed in by 50-foot fir trees and then turn onto a rocky dirt path, joggling our rented SUV. Photographer Michael Schmelling and I are in Mendocino County, about a three-hour drive north of San Francisco, looking for what remains of perhaps the most famous of the hundreds of rural communes established across Northern California in the late '60s and '70s: Table Mountain Ranch.

The entire expanse—which once was a kind of American Arcadia, home to scores of hippies who'd fled San Francisco to live a new, idealistic kind of life—now looks deserted. We pass tree stumps, logging equipment, and mounds of dirt. The only sound is the chirping of birds. Eventually, in the middle of an open field, we come upon a peeling wood building where a lone man is perched up a ladder. Ascetically thin, with long red hair and a patchy beard, he tells us that he's one of Table Mountain Ranch's last remaining members. Now in his mid-70s, he's wary of supplying his name, wary of being somehow “on the map” after so much time off the grid, so I tell him that I'll refer to him as Jack Berg. Attempting to set the foundation for a second-story balcony, he struggles to balance on the ladder while positioning a two-by-four, an unlit roach in his fingers. As we look on, he brusquely puts us to work, chastising Michael for snapping a picture instead of immediately helping with the load.

Berg is restoring the Whale Schoolhouse, a progressive academy founded in 1971 that became the pride of communards across the Albion region of Northern California. Fifty kids, from elementary to high school age, were enrolled here, but it's sat unused for decades—and now Berg is moving in. “Nobody cared about this building,” he says. “It was disintegrating.” He takes us inside. It's a single room, the size of half a tennis court, with old class pictures on a corkboard. A circular window overlooks an empty field that had long ago been a playground.

At one point in 1970, Table Mountain had over a hundred residents, some living in tipis, some in cabins, some crashing in the open air. It appears that before it became a commune, the 120-acre property had been a dude ranch, and the cabins and outbuildings were constantly being expanded in an endless ad hoc construction project. Residents scavenged materials from an abandoned hotel in nearby Fort Bragg and chicken coops from a Jewish communist chicken farm a few hours' drive south, in Petaluma. The living was primitive: There was no electricity or telephone lines, and the toilets were compostable. Residents shared their money and meals. This was the vision of one of Table Mountain's founders, a former Navy pilot named Walter Schneider, who discovered the deforested property from the air and, according to Berg, purchased the plot with cash he made trafficking pot via plane—and with his friend's inheritance. Countercultural luminaries moved up from the Bay, like Allen Cohen, founder of Haight-Ashbury's foremost underground newspaper, The San Francisco Oracle. A close friend of Timothy Leary's, Schneider brought the famed professor for weekend visits. “Walter and Tim came up here looking for a place to drop acid,” Berg explains, “to retreat from the city and do their thing.”

Berg first came to Table Mountain Ranch to visit his sister, then a resident, and never left. He doesn't remember precisely when that was, just that it was around the time Schneider finally got arrested for smuggling weed. Berg didn't know it then, but when he joined the commune he became part of the greatest urban exodus in American history. From the late '60s to the mid '70s, nearly a million young people went back to the land. Nowhere was the urge to reconnect with nature more keenly felt than in San Francisco, where droves of young people were suddenly fleeing a city overrun by heroin, speed, and bad vibes. Cops were shooting down Black Panthers in Oakland and the military was tear-gassing students in People's Park in Berkeley. Vietnam veterans were looking for a salve for their PTSD. Faithful Marxists aimed to put their ideals to the test. Some just wanted to get high in the woods.

This movement found its epicenter in a sunny swath of Northern California between the Bay Area and the Oregon border, a region where plots of land were going cheap, decimated by a century of logging and an economic downturn. Thousands of cooperative communities like Table Mountain Ranch sprouted up along the coast and the inland forests. Residents taught themselves to farm, practiced free love, and built their own homes.

It was a grand social experiment, but the promise was often rosier than the reality. Most found the grind too hard going and the poverty too bleak, and within a few years returned to the city and more conventional lives. But a small number stuck it out for decades, long after the Summer of Love had dissipated, and a handful of them still live in communities scattered across Northern California. These flinty souls remain a study in principled self-reliance and human ingenuity, having supported themselves and their families for years through subsistence farming and sundry side hustles: ceramics, teaching, salmon fishing, instrument making, firewood hawking, and weed growing.

These residents are now in their 70s and 80s. For some, the isolation has become challenging due to medical needs, yet they continue to remain, some living like hermits, others as community activists. Although the last holdouts within these fading utopias are all uniquely compelling characters, it's the question of what they'll leave behind that has drawn us here. Living in strange homes of their own creation, forever fearful of building inspectors and outsiders, they've kept these structures hidden and shrouded in mystery. Will these dwellings languish as ruins of a lost civilization, relics of a long-obsolete 20th-century idea? Might some, like Berg's current project, be outfitted for new uses? Many seem on the brink of collapse, and before they're gone, I want to know what lessons they could teach us.

A cabin at Table Mountain Ranch with a geodesic dome (photo by Michael Schmelling)

As the light begins to fade, Berg walks us into the woods on a tour of the property's most neglected structures. We trek down a damp glen, which becomes darker and colder as we walk under a thick canopy, and in a small clearing come upon a shack with a mossy dome and triangular windows. The foundation is sinking into the earth. This would have been a sunny spot 50 years ago, when the land was newly decimated by logging. Still, Berg thinks the builders were foolish for choosing this side of the hill. He struggles to remember who they were, mouthing names to himself as we continue. Deeper into the woods sits a cabin with walls aslant, its windows knocked out. “The design is impractical,” says Berg. “I think it's humorous architecture.” He pauses, considering the structure's design. “Some are really beautiful, though. This is beautiful.”

Both structures are beyond repair. Berg has long planned to burn them down, following in a tradition among communards of destroying properties they've abandoned so that the state doesn't have the chance to condemn and bulldoze them. But he hasn't brought himself to do it yet.

It was at a used-book store in San Francisco that I first developed an interest in these strange structures. I'd been thumbing through an issue of the Whole Earth Catalog, a compendium of self-help advice and product reviews, founded and edited by Stewart Brand, that became the bible for back-to-the-landers when it was first published in 1968. (Steve Jobs would later call it “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.”) What struck me most was the opening statement: “We are as gods and might as well get used to it. A realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested.”

I found a particularly unshakable fantasy in the “Shelter” section, which told the stories of people who had built their own homes and, in some cases, formed their own societies. Did I need to continue grinding away in the city in hopes of one day maybe owning my own home? Was I going about my existence all wrong? A generation had already put this alternative lifestyle to the test. I wanted to meet those who were still living the fantasy.

On a Mendocino community Facebook group for back-to-the-landers, I found a man named Ron Blett, who lives on a five-acre plot a short drive from Table Mountain Ranch. In April, Michael and I visited him at his cabin, a simple structure he has continued to renovate over the years, and which features a stained-glass window salvaged from an abandoned church. Blett is 78 years old now; tubes from an assisted breathing apparatus dangle from his neck into his knapsack. After dropping out of Western Michigan University, during his final semester, in 1968, he headed to California, borrowed $1,200 from friends, and built the house he still lives in. The commune never had a name; he just started letting friends live on the land. At its peak there were 16 residents in cabins that he'd built. Now those original tenants are gone, and all that's left are the cabins, some shake-shingled, fitted with odd, mismatched windows. The homes' chaotic design reminds Blett of an experiment he'd read about where spiders were dosed with various drugs. “If you look at a normal spiderweb,” he says, “then you look at a spiderweb on acid, that's how these homes appear to me.”

It's common in Northern California to find people who abruptly dropped out of society, never to return. Monty Levenson lives 50 miles from Blett, up a winding mountain road outside the town of Willits, on the northern edge of California's redwood forests. His home is a minimalist, pragmatic structure that befits his no-nonsense personality. He came out here with little more than his books, 500 of them, and an intent to focus on his doctoral thesis. But he soon abandoned his studies and began to pursue a different kind of knowledge. “I felt I didn't know anything, really,” he says. “After going through the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement, I started thinking, Do I really want to be a professor training other professors who will in turn train other professors?”

Levenson sought to move beyond talk of revolution; he wanted to embody it. “My impulse was to do something with my life, that just by being here, I would be making it a better place,” he says. “That's what came out of the '60s, the sense you could create your own reality. In 1968 in Paris you'd see the phrase ‘Be realistic but demand the impossible’ spray-painted on walls. I needed to manifest that.”

Levenson, who's in his mid-70s, has a short white beard and the same intonations as Bernie Sanders—a contemporary of his at Brooklyn College. The curriculum there hadn't prepared him for building his own dwelling. “The only wood I ever held in my hand was a pencil,” Levenson says. “This thing where we're going to change the world? I didn't know how to wipe my ass.” His methodology was “trial and error—mostly the latter. You make a lot of mistakes, and if you survive them and you have half a brain, you figure it out.”

When Levenson arrived, the land had been ravaged by loggers. “It was ecocided,” he says. “Destroyed. Deemed worthless land that was being sold to unsuspecting hippies. And it backfired.” He expanded his home, where he lives with his wife of 37 years, Kayo, and reared four children, three of whom moved to Brooklyn as adults—an irony not lost on him. He's recently built a meticulously crafted sauna and a Japanese-style bath house, both straight out of a high-end eco-retreat. Unlike many back-to-the-landers, Levenson never cared to live on a commune and has always resided in a private abode with his family. “I don't like going to meetings and I'm still that way,” he explains. “If you want to do something, sometimes the most efficient way is to do it yourself. I wanted to make my own decisions, and if I made mistakes, then I dealt with them myself.”

For all his plucky gripes, Levenson is a student of Zen and has become a world-renowned craftsman of the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute that dates back over 1,200 years. A big break came when he was personally invited to include one of his instruments in a 1971 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. Ever since then he's been backlogged with orders. At one point, he refers to a Japanese saying: joshaku shushaku—mistake upon mistake compounds to become the sum total of one's knowledge. Then he blows the flute for us, eyes closed. It's a pure, swelling sound that fills the room and seems to transport him to another place.

The audacious confidence of building one's own house according to one's own vision tends to be reflected in back-to-the-landers' other creative pursuits. Laird Sutton is an artist, Methodist minister, and sexologist who has spent his life intermingling these disciplines. For years he commuted into San Francisco from his ranch in Bodega, an intentional community about an hour-and-a-half drive north of San Francisco. He built his home there in 1968 and has continued to tinker with it over the years. His front window, made of curved plexiglass, like a cockpit, overlooks the hillside; it once displayed a collection of ancient erotic art. One of a handful who remain on the community's land, Sutton lives with his 15-year-old Labrador, Maggie (whose bloodline he has traced back to J.R.R. Tolkien's own dog), and a library of sexological literature.

With his long hair—he hasn't cut it since 1967—bushy eyebrows, and hoary beard, he bears an uncanny resemblance to Gandalf, and speaks with no less gravitas. He felt a deep connection with the land, and he pledged to never leave, despite the commute. An intentional community requires harmony not only with its members but with the earth itself, he explains. The land, Sutton says, “can decide that people aren't good and drop a tree on their house.” He tells the story of a troublesome member who woke up in such a scenario. The woman was unhurt but rattled enough to leave. “The land spoke,” Sutton says. “I won't say divine intervention, because when you say that, you're talking about somebody up there. We're talking about the intervention of the living ranch, because everything here is alive.”

The back-to-the-land movement consisted of predominantly white heterosexual youth from middle-class backgrounds. And so Richard Evans, who is Black and gay, found himself a double anomaly, not just on the commune he lived on near Garberville but in the broader Humboldt County region. In his 20s he'd spent time at a pansexual urban commune in the Haight, Kaliflower, that was known for creating the elaborate costumes worn by the legendary avant-garde drag performance troupe the Cockettes. But Evans had always loved nature and wanted to be nearer to it. In the early '70s, he found some friends willing to pool their finances to purchase land up north and was dispatched to find a parcel for the crew. For six months he camped and fished, scouring territory all the way up to Oregon. “I never met another Black kid hitchhiking,” he says, noting that times haven't become any more encouraging. “Nowadays I don't see women hitchhiking, either. It's unimaginable.” In San Francisco, he says, “the Summer of Love was a huge heart opening. What changed?”

When Evans finally found a fitting plot, he called up his friends and they established a commune there named Narnia. For his personal living quarters, he built a geodesic dome with wood salvaged from a demolished school. Domes were frequently found on communes, their technical experimentalism and trippy look symbolizing a certain lifestyle.

But living in his dome alone meant that there was a part of Richard Evans not being expressed. Narnia's other residents were three heterosexual couples, and with the exception of a few lesbian communes, he knew of no queer communes so far up north. He was on his own, in a sense, and came to develop a deep sense of self-reliance, one he still retains. The first thing to look for on new land, he tells me, is a stream: You can't live without drinking water. And so Evans taught himself how to dowse for underground springs by reading an article in the Whole Earth Catalog.

Lloyd Kahn, the former editor of the “Shelter” section of the Whole Earth Catalog, still lives on the half acre he and his wife purchased in Bolinas, a coastal community in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, in 1971. Now 86 years old, with bushy white hair, he is, after Buckminster Fuller, the most famous proponent of geodesic domes. His Domebook, volumes one and two, sold hundreds of thousands of copies before he pulled them from print, renouncing geodesic domes as impractical—they can't be sealed against wind and weather, and barns were simply better structures. His agent couldn't dissuade him. “I didn't want any more domes on my karma,” he says.

Kahn now largely espouses simple stud houses, with vertical walls and simple roofs, inspired by the conventional farm structures he would see on the side of the road. “I had to admit I was wrong in front of a quarter of a million people,” he says. “It was great. People are so disinclined to admit mistakes. That's part of learning. If you're experimenting, there are going to be failures. You acknowledge them and go from there.”

He runs his own press, Shelter Publications, out of an office he built with recycled lumber from an old Navy barracks. He's published dozens of books on alternative and mobile living spaces and he maintains an Instagram account where he features examples of spaces he finds captivating. Every day he gets emails from people gushing about how his work inspires them. On YouTube you can find his tutorials—how to shoot and vacuum-pack squab, for instance, or ferment pickles.

Kahn disapproves of the sloppy construction typical of commune dwellings. “I thought those places were abominable,” he tells me. “You could build anything you wanted, so terrible stuff got built. Those loose anarchistic ones are probably gone now. Good riddance, I think. I was into building and growing food—other people were into communicating with dolphins.”

To Harriet Bye, another Albion settler, the Whole Earth Catalog and other similar publications enforced gender stereotypes. Even the catalog's introductory statement catered to a male perspective. So, with a collective of other local women, Bye created a female-oriented magazine called Country Women in 1972, mailed out from Table Mountain Ranch. “We had to do [a publication] that directly spoke to women being able to take on a lot of these things that were considered men's work,” she tells me. Country Women had themed issues like “Women on the Land,” “Anger and Violence,” and “Sexuality,” but it also offered advice for, say, how to deal with an outbreak of white cabbage moths. The magazine was launched the same year as Gloria Steinem's Ms. and found a similar audience, with its distribution at one point hitting 9,000 copies.

We're sitting outside her wood-shingled home, a short drive from the commune. Bye first bought land in 1969, on her 26th birthday, securing an acre and a half with a $750 down payment and a $40 monthly mortgage. She built this house herself, affixing the shingles in a pattern that wasted the least amount of material, initially using a cookie sheet as a T square. In those days, she says, everyone salvaged material. Part of this was principle, part of it was practical. Most new settlers didn't have a ton of money, Bye among them. At one point she came upon a house in San Francisco where the windows were being removed and the contractor offered them to her for free. Bye launched a reused-window business that her husband still runs. A good portion of all the hippie homes in the area got their windows from her. There are fields of them stacked across her property. “It's obvious now that we have limited resources,” Bye says. “They are beautiful things, so who wants them destroyed?”

A few roads over lives Ted Thoman, a tall, soft-spoken man with a long white ponytail under a Greek fisherman's cap. He designed his seven-sided, single-room house around the windows he'd scored, the biggest one from the side of a gas station. “Windows are cheaper than a wall,” he tells me over a breakfast of eggs and coffee inside his light-filled abode. After we eat, Thoman sets down a metal tube used to tighten nuts and bolts. In the small opening at the top are hefty buds of weed grown on his property. “An after-meal digestive?” he offers.

Up a ladder is a 12-windowed attic loft, once the bedroom for two kids and now webbed with wire for drying weed. Back-to-the-landers started cultivating marijuana for their own consumption in the mid '70s, and in the ensuing decades, their isolation, dedication to the crop, and general disregard for the law would turn Humboldt County into one of the epicenters of America's illegal cannabis industry. By the 1980s, former hippies who had once disavowed materialism were turning hefty profits; some built private “pot palaces” and became disconnected from the communes that first brought them into the countryside. Not Ted Thoman, though. He grows for himself and his friends. When we leave, he hands me a full baggie for later.

Constructing a home with next to no money demands feats of creative resourcefulness. Back in the 1970s, free building materials were everywhere—if you knew where to look. Jon Turner's house, a two-story, gable-roofed structure in Mendocino County, is fabricated from 2,000-year-old redwood logs he pulled out of the Albion River. His ceiling is the height of a gymnasium because he couldn't bring himself to trim the ancient logs, he explains. He never put a single architectural sketch on paper.

Turner wears a leather jacket and a white handlebar mustache; in an adjoining garage, he rebuilds Harley-Davidsons. When he first moved here, from San Joaquin County, just east of San Francisco, he eked out a living as a commercial fisherman. But he found that a century's worth of logging detritus made it hard to navigate the river. So one day he put on goggles, dove into the muck, and discovered buried treasure. The detritus was actually the butts of redwood logs, called “sinkers,” that nearby mills had discarded over the past century. Turner was savvy enough to know that this was the best part of the best lumber on earth, wood with a tight grain and no knots. And the logs were killing the river—redwood is toxic to the river ecosystem, and the logs trapped silt, contributing to the depletion of the local salmon population.

Turner was determined to extract the logs, but not even the California Fish and Games Commission had figured out how to do so without ripping up the riverbed. At a junkyard he scored four military-surplus fiberglass pontoons, which he says were used during World War II to clear land mines from rivers. These pontoons each held up a custom-fabricated steel A-frame, from which he dropped a winch line affixed to a pair of century-old logging tongs he'd sink to the bottom of the river in the hope of latching onto a submerged log. With luck, tiny bubbles would emerge. “Then you'd get this whiff like raw sewage,” Turner says, “and you knew it was starting to break loose.”

Turner has piles of the logs in his front yard, the biggest of which, he says, is 11 feet in diameter. With about 96 percent of old-growth redwoods in California already plundered, it's illegal to touch one today. Turner has never intended to sell his materials, but he collaborates with an architecture firm near Lake Tahoe specializing in chalets. He shows me a magazine featuring one of his projects, for which he'd constructed a two-story wine cellar and a redwood slide that goes from the upstairs into a game room. Turner fabricated the slide himself, bending the wood by creating incisions in the top, a technique he perfected on a piece of celery.

After a few years on the property, Turner faced every back-to-the-lander's worst nightmare when a building inspector showed up at his home and cited him for a host of infractions, including a lack of grade stamps on his lumber. He says he'd searched for a grader to approve the quality of his lumber but, with the mills long gone, was unable to find one. So he researched the qualifications required to hold the position, which appeared to be the possession of a rubber stamp used for this purpose. Turner had one made up. He claims the inspector came back round and checked the infraction off his list. That was the easy one, he says. For years he fought other alleged violations. Known as getting “red-tagged,” these coding citations became a means of harassing the community. In 1974 state inspectors deployed low-flying planes to search out illegal structures across Mendocino County. A task force patrolled the hills, tagging premises with notices that deemed them “unfit for human occupancy.” The fines were unfeasibly high, frightening many off the land. I was told of a Vietnam-veteran neighbor who was so triggered by the planes he ran screaming for cover each time.

Correcting the building code infringements led to absurd alterations. Inspectors told Ron Blett that two doors were required between a bathroom and a kitchen. So he installed a wall made of two doors. “The inspector counted the doors and checked the box,” he recalls. “Not everything made sense.” Ultimately a group of Mendocino commune residents fought back against the capricious regulations in court, helping to establish a new code designed for owner-builders who sought to live inside their homes.

Monty Levenson still grows angry when he thinks back to the inspectors' regulations. “They were trying to put people away for exercising a fundamental human right: to create shelter and manifest their personal freedom,” he says. “It's a money game. I couldn't afford to go to a lumberyard. And the quality of that material was inferior. It's bullshit. It's ironic that the state destroyed the entire area, and then when we move onto it they're like, ‘Oh, let's play fair here.’ But they underestimated us.”

The movement wasn't about living in isolation. Residents of these communes didn't seek an escape from society so much as the chance to create it anew: a generous, civic-minded, highly social culture with regular potlucks and solstice blowouts. “We were kindred spirits forging a world we wanted to live in,” Richard Evans explains. “Connected to the earth, sustainably and organically.”

Michael and I are driving Evans through Humboldt County to visit some old friends, blasting a reggae show on KMUD, the community-funded radio station he helped found. Evans didn't get rich growing pot, but at times he made enough to survive, and rallied those who were better off to support a range of community initiatives, from the radio station to a volunteer fire brigade to local schools. He now serves on the board of a community center organizing camping trips for at-risk kids.

We're headed to see an example of his three-dimensional stained-glass-window installations. To build them Evans tweaked the mathematical principles he loved in geodesic domes, reimagining them in multicolored glass dodecahedrons and polygons. Over the decades, he's created scores of these windows for hippie homes across California, but he's only aware of a few that remain intact.

Evans was inspired by similar windows at Druid Heights, a communal outpost formed in 1954 in the Muir Woods National Park that he loved to visit. It was known for its extravagantly experimental hand-built architecture, for low-key performances by musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, and for being the final home and resting place of the philosopher Alan Watts, credited for popularizing Eastern thought and spirituality within the American counterculture. Evans found that sculptural stained-glass work was a natural fit in this pocket of strange organic forms, inspired by mandalas and the dwellings of Pacific Islanders. But when Michael and I later trudge through the ruins of the structures, now overgrown with nature, we can't find anything that looks like his artistry. All the glass has been smashed. It feels like the remnants of a lost alien civilization.

Evans left Narnia in the late '70s and returned to San Francisco. “Being the only gay person for 2,000 miles was no fun at all,” he admits. In the city he fell in love and soon persuaded his partner to move up to Alderpoint, in Humboldt County. They built their own house, where they lived happily for 13 years, until his partner died of complications from AIDS. The disease was poorly understood back then, and particularly dire in rural areas. Evans is now a volunteer counselor in a Bay Area support group for those diagnosed with AIDS.

Late in the afternoon, we arrive at the home (and weed farm) of Tommy and Karen Hessler, who've been close friends of Evans's for more than 40 years. The three rarely see one another these days, and they hug excitedly. Tommy dresses like a farmer: cowboy hat, shirt tucked into jeans. He and Karen built this rambling home themselves in 1972 and has kept it off the grid, installing solar panels—back-to-the-landers were early adopters—and watering crops from a well on their property.

The Hessler family is soon to launch its own prepackaged weed brand on the market, called Amaranth Farm. Tommy claims to be one of the first weed farmers in Humboldt County, having started his operation in 1969. It's just one of many successful crops they've farmed over the years. Their vegetables have been found in plenty of local restaurants and grocery stores. Now he's dedicated to passing on his knowledge: A recent college graduate is working on their farm, learning how to cultivate crops. “Once you teach a man how to shelter himself and feed his own face, then fuck you,” Tommy explains. “You can say that to everybody. It's a powerful thing. They don't want to teach you that. In fourth grade they should put seeds in your hand. They want control. But nobody else is in control—you are.”

Yet the obtuseness of weed laws drives him nuts. It took the couple years to get the necessary permits. Karen had to use her iPad to navigate the intricacies of “track and trace,” the process by which each individual plant receives a barcode and can be followed from seedling to dispensary shelf. It's all too much for Tommy, who rarely even uses his cell phone. Luckily, the Hesslers' adult children help them run the business. The farm supports the family, and the kids are committed to keeping it alive.

At the front of the house is one of Evans's stained-glass window installations, looking like a giant purple chrysanthemum. Inside, new colors appear as the sunlight streams through: blue, maroon, and orange. The Hesslers have looked after the artwork over the decades, and it's still in near perfect condition, a mark of its craftsmanship. Evans beams as he looks at his handiwork: “The integrity of color on the glass tints hasn't dulled over time.”

When members trickle out of a commune but retain their stake in the property, ownership can become a tricky issue. Often co-owners will refuse to sell their share because of ideological reasons—many members of Northern California's communes acquired land to liberate it from logging and developers. This is why large, expensive swaths of land sometimes remain uninhabited even after all members of a commune have long since decamped.

On a cold and foggy morning, we set out to explore one such abandoned commune, based on a tip and vague directions. It's said to be located many miles up and down twisty, muddy logging roads and over streams with plywood bridges in an area of Humboldt County that's recently come to be known as Murder Mountain. The moniker isn't for the treacherous roads. Since the 1990s, the burgeoning cannabis industry has brought cartels and gang violence to the region. We're nervous about taking wrong turns. Popular wisdom here says you should never go down a dirt road you don't know.

As the sun pierces through the gray sky, we turn a sharp corner to come upon multiple structures frozen in time. The commune was once known as the Nonagon, named after the nine-sided main house. We step inside the decaying abode to find it empty and surprisingly pristine but for mouse droppings and an antique fridge. A spiral staircase has a raw branch as a handrail; the door latches are out of The Hobbit.

Deeper in the brush, we find a smaller cabin, its roof sagging so low its collapse seems inevitable. This home is literally about to go back to the land. Few know it exists here, and I wonder whether Michael and I will be the last to see it standing. As I walk through the door, Michael starts taking pictures as if it might collapse then and there. Inside, a few volumes on hermetic philosophy and a soggy copy of Ram Dass's Be Here Now still sit on a shelf. Some kind of animal has left a nest in the closet. A mandala tapestry is pinned to the ceiling. There's a rocking chair in the corner. The original members of this commune have moved on or passed on, and much as I'd like to know their stories, there's nobody here to tell us what happened.

(more photos can be found here: gq.com/story/californias-vanishing-hippie-utopias)

39 Comments

  1. George Hollister October 12, 2021

    FALLING POT PRICES, an on-line comment:

    “Even otherwise decent people will be driven to desperate measures.”

    What does that mean? Everyone in San Quentin is an otherwise decent person.

    • Harvey Reading October 12, 2021

      You seem to be assuming that ALL those in our prison system are there for good reason, based on a reasonable and enlightened judicial system. Got nooze for ya, George. The poor and dark-skinned were more likely railroaded into prison simply for the “crimes” of being poor and/or dark-skinned, no matter how your revered fascist conservatives may wail to the contrary (as they take a short break from destruction of the Civil Rights and Voting Right acts). Justice is just another lie promulgated by civics classes taught by idiots and con artists.

      One more thing: the rest of the country doesn’t give a damn about Clearcut Triangle pot. There’s plenty of legal (and powerful) dope coming from elsewhere…always has been.

  2. Chuck Artigues October 12, 2021

    It is hard to believe that Piers Morgan loves anything other than his own voice…

    • Emily Strachan October 12, 2021

      Here here

  3. Harvey Reading October 12, 2021

    “A real shame that there does not appear to be a more acceptable end to it all.”

    Actually it is a most fitting end to a society based on murder and slavery. It is our “manifest destiny”.

  4. George Hollister October 12, 2021

    Worth Reading From The WSJ:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/partisan-science-antiscience-facts-misrepresentation-fauci-lancet-lab-leak-11633960740?st=icazgixzaaqi79t&reflink=share_mobilewebshare

    “Some scientific statements prove false; that’s how science works. Those who claim that to doubt any part of the consensus is to be “antiscience” or “a denier” are themselves being unscientific.”

    “Science operates by a process of criticism. Scientists don’t experience divine revelations, they propose hypotheses that they and others test. This rigorous process of testing gives science the persuasiveness that mere journalism lacks. If a scientific periodical expels editors or peer reviewers because they don’t accept some prevailing theory, that process has been short-circuited. Those who call for such expulsions have missed the whole point of how science works. They are the true deniers, far more dangerous to science than a religious fundamentalist who believes the world is 6,000 years old.”

    • Harvey Reading October 12, 2021

      Maybe you should not rely on Murdoch publications for your information.

  5. Marmon October 12, 2021

    “Let’s go Brandon” !!!

    Marmon

  6. Cotdbigun October 12, 2021

    I’m curious to know if it would have shut Harvey up for just a minute if George had stated that almost everyone, or most, or the majority, instead of omg omg everyone. Even the thought police would do well with a dab of compassion or just an occasional break in their extreme vigilance…..you know,stop and smell the homeless or some such.

    • Harvey Reading October 12, 2021

      No, Cot, it would NOT have, “…shut me up…” Poor and dark-skinned people make up a disproportionate part of the prison population in proportion to their numbers within the population. There is a reason for that: cops and the “justice system” target them.

    • George Hollister October 12, 2021

      I spent some thinking about just what you are suggesting, and decided my assumption was that those in San Quentin are all guilty of doing some pretty bad things. I know that can be wrong. To say “almost” means an undefined range. And almost all those in San Quentin claim to doing time for some other popper’s crime. Maybe I should have referred to Pelican Bay.

      • Harvey Reading October 12, 2021

        The phenomenon of disproportiately arresting and locking up the poor and people of color is nationwide. It’s not something that just began, either. It’s part of our wondrous “heritage”, and has been, for decades. Making up “glib” responses adds nothing to your case. You have none.

  7. Marmon October 12, 2021

    RE: NEW TRENT JAMES VIDEO DROP

    Just minutes ago. He’s only going to do the dirty stuff on Fridays

    https://youtu.be/d37Q2-ni7d4

    Marmon

    • Marmon October 12, 2021

      What I like about Trent is that he believes in community policing. Writing tic tac tickets too locals is insanity. He’s young and he’s smart. My last ticket was coming to a rolling stop on my harley. The cop said that because my feet did not touch the ground I violated the law. Traffic School and a whole bunch of cash was my punishment.

      Marmon

      P.S. Are tinted windows a high priorty for law enforcement these days?

      • Marmon October 12, 2021

        I can balance my bike for almost 7 seconds without putting my feet down.

        Marmon

        • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

          Inertia in action.

      • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

        They seem to be standard equipment on ALL cars and trucks these days (along with misaimed headamps). Bet they’re great for night driving…with tinted windows, you won’t know you hit a deer or antelope until you hear the thump.

  8. Craig Stehr October 12, 2021

    Previously today posted on the AVA online Dr. Lonnie Smith performing “Why Can’t We Live Together” from the Breathe album. It’s on YouTube.

  9. Brian Wood October 12, 2021

    I’m surprised it took this long for the pigs to intrude on your place, Bruce. There’s a group of at least 6 that frequently comes through my yard in Boonville at dusk or later. I think they’re the same ones I wrote about several weeks ago, and might be the same that found your place. When I chase them off they usually head for the dry creek bed in back. It’s been dry for a long time this summer, but it’s a highway for wildlife. Anderson Creek connects with Robinson Creek a quarter mile or so from the AVA and the pigs don’t have to cross the highway because they’ll stay on the creek under the Hwy. 128 bridge. What to do?

    • Bruce Anderson October 12, 2021

      They got the hotel last night, me the night before, and I heard they’ve rototilled the rear yard of Boont Berry. They overturned a bird feeder and the compost pile at my place, and I guess found a few edibles in my 10 X 5 garden but didn’t do any lasting damage. Someone could stake out the river bed and shoot them, but trapping them and relocating them seems preferable to me. There are people in the valley with pig traps.

  10. Jeff Fox October 12, 2021

    “Mendocino Farms” is total make believe and has nothing to do with Mendocino. The use of the name Mendocino is strictly a marketing ploy. Their laughable claim is that they chose the company name because they wanted to “tap into the ethos of Mendocino County”. The company was started in Los Angeles by an executive from L.A. that worked for Accenture, which is multinational spinoff of the giant accounting firm Arthur Andersen. They opened their first store in L.A. and none of their stores are even remotely close to Mendocino or its neighboring counties. I’d be completely surprised if even one of the ingredients on their menu is sourced from Mendocino county.

  11. Joe October 12, 2021

    Newsom just signed a bill to get rid of all off road gas engines within a couple of years. It will be interesting living in the woods with no chain saws, lawnmowers generators etc. I’m sure everyone has the money to go out and buy the latest new electric everything to fill in the gaps. The CDF and the loggers will have fun doing their jobs. Fire departments will have to have solar panels on their trucks to do rescues . I’m going to guess there will be tremendous backlash against this and the compromise will be to fess up with all your nasty gas engines and pay a carbon tax which will magically disappear into that racket. Anyone keeping track of where all the carbon tax money goes? “To developing politicians er a countries …. “

    • Stephen Rosenthal October 12, 2021

      I don’t like it either, but don’t get your panties in a bunch. The law doesn’t affect existing gas-powered small engines, so those of us that have them can keep using them. On a positive note, maybe banning the large gas-powered chain saws will stop the clear-cutting of our forests going forward.

      • Joe October 12, 2021

        Sounds like boiled frog panties to me.

      • Bruce McEwen October 12, 2021

        Jeez, guys, I thought it was about getting those offensive louts on their cute little “quads.” “four-wheelers,” ATVs, dirt bikes and balloon-tired trikes, all those nasty, farting asshole caps and vehicles — getting them off the bike and bridle paths, so a body coud have some small respite from the car culture and all the misery it brings… Guess, I’m living in some kind of Luddite dream-world, huh.

        • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

          Naw, my guess is that you are correct. It may include chainsaws, lawn mowers, etc., too, for all I know.

            • Bruce McEwen October 13, 2021

              Thanks.

            • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

              It seems to me that “small off-road engine” could easily be interpreted to include snowmobiles (which require snow) as well as ATVs and their variants. I would love to see all banned. The damned things are ubiquitous and annoying, particularly out in the middle of nowhere. Moab, Utah appears to have a particularly annoying epidemic of them.

    • Tim McClure October 12, 2021

      I believe the intention of the legislation is to get these polluting devices out of urban areas, hence landscaping activities were specifically targeted. The law saws nothing about logging. If you have ever lived in a modern urban environment besieged with an abundance of gas powered leaf blowers, mowers, string trimmers, etc. you would say good riddance as well!

      • George Hollister October 13, 2021

        If this is the case, then why not let cities and counties make these choices? It appears to me the state is overreaching here. BTW, there are some pretty good electric garden tools these days. A person might choose to get one, not because the state said so, but because these electric devices are as good or better than gas powered ones.

        But I don’t see anything out there that will replace gas powered chain saws for anything be cutting branches, and if you have a lot of grass to cut an electric riding mower seems to be a stretch.

        • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

          A “stretch” for you, perhaps. Ever hear of batteries? They’re gonna get popular, soon, and we’ll be gutting South America and native lands here to make them.

          They’re not overreaching at all. The world is falling apart, and they’re just trying to at least make a show of slowing the pace of human-caused catastrophic climate change a little. Funny that I don’t hear you bawling about forced vaccinations for the epidemic that was most likely cooked up in one of our bioweapons labs.

          The planet will be better off when all us vicious human monkeys are gone.

        • Marmon October 13, 2021

          They will have to pry my Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw from my cold dead hands.

          Marmon

          • Harvey Reading October 13, 2021

            If only!

          • George Hollister October 13, 2021

            Try the 550. You will be impressed. Same weight, more power.

      • Lazarus October 13, 2021

        “I believe the intention of the legislation is to get these polluting devices out of urban areas”

        That is not what this law says. I see no stipulation about urban…
        Obviously, Newsom has never done an honest day’s work in his over intitled life. Screw this guy!
        As always,
        Laz

  12. Marmon October 12, 2021

    I’m waiting to see what Trent has to say about the cartel’s in Covelo and the sheriff’s department policy in dealing with organized crime in that community. Did he have Ukiah’s support in combating organized crime in Covelo or what. What is the Sheriff’s department’s policy on such?

    Marmon

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